• 100 Advocates, 99 Meetings: A Look at Exhibitions Day 2015

    By: Claire Harrington, CMP

    From the Social Tables Events and Hospitality Blog

    On Tuesday, June 9, Capitol Hill welcomed the second annual Exhibitions Day by hosting over 100 suppliers, buyers and planners who ventured to the nation’s capital for 99 meetings with officials from both the House and Senate to represent exhibition professionals nationwide.

    Exhibitions Day is the brainchild of the Exhibitions Mean Business (EMB) campaign, which was launched in 2011 “to unify and give a collective voice to the exhibitions and events industry and better advocate the benefits of face-to-face meetings to business growth and economic development.”

    IAEE CEO & President David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA, led the agenda with a review of theThe Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy, then introduced Voices in Advocacy Founder Roger Rickard, who reviewed best practices for a successful Hill visit.

    The goals of Exhibitions Day 2015 were threefold:

    1. Raise awareness about the industry as a whole among government and other influential audiences.
    2. Educate our nation’s leaders about the value and impact of exhibitions and events on cities and communities across the United States.
    3. Help government officials to be more cognizant of our industry and its relationship to “their work.

    We accomplished these goals by lobbying on the following issues pertinent to our industry:

    1. Passage of H.R. 1401 – the JOLT Act

    H.R. 1401 – The Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act of 2015 is a bipartisan issue that would stimulate international tourism to the United States by strengthening and expanding the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), now renamed the Secure Travel Partnership (STP) Program to more accurately reflect the purpose of the initiative.

    1. Support for Open Skies Agreements

    Open Skies agreements set the standard of operations for flights into and out of the United States. These agreements eliminate government control over routing, frequency and pricing, and allow free and open market competition. As a result, Open Skies agreements stand as a vital tool to promote fair competition between air carriers and protect customers from unfair pricing. Open Skies agreements frees carriers to provide more affordable, convenient and efficient air service to consumers, promoting increased travel and trade and spurring high-quality job opportunity and economic growth.


    1. Support for Trade Promotion Authority

    The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is a measure that will significantly strengthen America’s overall travel economy by serving as an essential tool for negotiating trade agreements. Specifically, TPA helps ensure a rules-based system for two-way trade and it helps ensure that American workers and businesses, including travel-related businesses, get the fairest deal out of new trade agreements.

    1. Advocating The Importance of Supporting Government Attendance at Exhibitions

    Government meetings and related event travel are critical to ensuring federal employees are able to do their jobs as effectively as possible, while also helping extend support towards encouraging economic growth and job creation.

    Representation came from all walks of the industry, including exhibitions experience powerhouses Freeman, GES and Fern, research think tank CEIR, visitors & conventions bureaus including Dallas, Cleveland, and Louisville, and technology firms like Exhibit Surveys and Social Tables.

    We are a meetings and events company that just happens to provide software,” said Social Tables’ CEO Dan Berger. “It is our belief that we have a responsibility to invest in the future of our industry by impacting reform that is critical to the growth of our industry. When the opportunity to lobby presented itself, we couldn’t say yes quickly enough.”

    If you’d like to learn more about how you can be involved in a future Exhibitions Day, please visit the IAEE website.

  • ExpoChat – #ExhibitionsDay 2015 and The Importance of Advocacy

    “If we expect change, we must do something to affect change.” Those were the words of Megan Tanel, Vice President of Exhibitions & Events for AEM and Chairperson of IAEE, as she discussed the importance of advocacy in the exhibitions and events industry.

    The exhibitions and events industry is a critical economic driver, both locally and globally, generating revenue for local businesses, creating employment opportunities and driving business connections and sales for people every year. As members of the exhibitions and events industry, we are aware of the value our industry provides, but it is now time to extend that awareness to our Members of Congress and the general public they represent.

    On June 9, 2015, members of the exhibitions and events industry will meet with Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill to discuss the most important issues affecting our industry. As valued members of this industry, we want to hear from you about the legislative and regulatory issues that have an impact on your ability to do business. Together we can include your concerns in our conversations and show legislators the vast amount of industries that are directly impacted by exhibitions and events across the United States.

    Follow the hashtag #ExpoChat on Twitter today starting at 2 p.m. CST and take part in the discussion with us!


    Q1. Has your organization/company been impacted by government legislation/regulation of exhibitions and events in any way?

    Q2. How can we, as an industry, do better to promote the economic value of exhibitions and events?

    Q3. What are some examples of efforts you have taken to promote the value of the exhibitions and events industry?

    Q4. June 9th is #ExhibitionsDay. What is the one thing you would like members of Congress to know about our industry?

    Q5. What pieces of legislation are you most concerned will have a negative impact on your company/organization?

    Q6. Are you familiar with the JOLT Act and how it can help the exhibitions industry?

    Q7. Are you familiar with the Travel Promotion Authority and how it supports the exhibitions industry?

    Q8. Are you familiar with Open Skies and how it helps promote business and leisure travel?

    Q9. Do government agencies or employees represent an important audience for your events?

    Q10. If you cannot attend #ExhibitionsDay, what are some ways you can participate and advocate for our industry?


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